This year’s basil crop wasn’t the best. The plants, a mix of Italian Sweet Basil from Seeds of Italy and local cinnamon basil, started out well. But the heat wave hit them hard. The sweet basil only reached about 18 inches in height before going to flower. The cinnamon basil didn’t even reach 12 inches. I tried to keep the flowers trimmed back, but I didn’t do a good job keeping track and it all got away from me. The flowers sucked the strength from the plants–the leaves faded, and stayed small. Then the chill weather came, and the leaves started to brown. I knew I had to act fast if I wanted to salvage anything for pesto.
So yesterday, I trimmed about 6 cups of leaves and flowers (the flowers were green, still edible). Roasted walnuts and pine nuts, 1/4 cup each. Peeled a head of garlic. Salt, pepper, and one cup of good olive oil. Not enough grated parmesano reggiano–only 1/3 cup instead of the full cup noted in the recipe. Dumped it all into the food processor.
It’s not the best pesto I ever made, but it’s decent. Spread some on yesterday’s chicken sandwich. Today, I slathered it on broiled king salmon.
There are worse things in the world.